Garth Nix Interview

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confusion_princes.jpg    Garth Nix has turned his hand to space opera with his new novel, A Confusion of Princes. The book was released in Australia in mid-April, and in the UK and USA in mid-May. The author was interviewed by Michael Levy for "Publishers Weekly".

Although you've written science fiction in the past, you're best known for your fantasy series. Why write one versus the other?

I'm not sure that there's anything that you can't do in either form. In any genre you're working in you can always find a way to tell a particular kind of story. I love fantasy, I love science fiction, I love all kinds of fiction, in fact. I don't particularly know why I chose to write a science fiction story except that the book seemed to lend itself to a science-fictional setting. I could probably have written it as fantasy, too - a story about a vast empire and near-immortal princes who are reborn and who are superior to normal humans in many ways except ethically, but for some reason I wanted to write a space opera adventure so that's the story that came out. A Confusion of Princes has a classic coming-of-age structure, it's a bildungsroman, so the core characteristics of the story, the setting and the tropes, are less important than the human story at the center.

A Confusion of Princes is dedicated to Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton, the best YA science fiction writers of the mid-20th century. What does Princes owe them?

I've dedicated the book to Heinlein and Norton because their young adult books were very important to me growing up. One of the things I wanted to do with A Confusion of Princes was to write a modern version of the kind of adventure story that I loved when I was young, and that I still read, one that will work for teenagers and adults, and hopefully that's what I've done. This is a naval story too, so there's probably some C.S. Forester in there, as well. Also, someone asked me the other day if I was a fan of Roger Zelazny's Amber books, which I am. They're about the political machinations of princes seeking power, so there's probably a Zelazny influence as well as many others. Authors are influenced by everything they've ever read. If you've read widely enough it helps you create your own mix.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 24, 2012 8:45 AM.

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